How we picked our first interior paint color
Updated: Feb 13, 2021
Ok, so I know I've talked about the Y2K oak stain and all the orange, but haven't really given you a good feel for what we're talking about. This house has such great bones, but those bones are HEAVY.
As you can see in some of the listing photos below, the main level of our house is the most dated. The craftsmanship is great, but the sheer size and amount of wood detailing makes it feel like the house is so much smaller than it is. It also gives such a choppy feel visually from room to room.
It's not just wainscoting in the entry, but four foot tall wainscoting. It's not just a chair rail in the dining room, but crown molding, an 8" wide chair rail and trim on the floor. Plus, all the return air vents are oak too. The living room even boasted the same thick crown molding. We're just not that formal. I dream of the Thanksgivings to come with that kitchen, and love that the floors are hardwood, but everything is so dark. (I realize black appliances don't help this problem.) EXCEPT, on the second floor and in the basement, the trim is white. But here lies my problem, our 2-story entry even had the thick crown molding - in stain over the entry itself, but when it rounded the corners for the upstairs hall, they painted that portion white. What?! It's literally all I can see every morning when I walk downstairs.
If I'm being honest, I didn't realize what we were getting into with our can-do, "we can change that" attitude! We're clearly amateurs.
After moving in, it became very obvious very quick that we couldn't even decorate with anything we owned. So, I decided we need to give us a little bit of a clean slate to at least tone down the anxiety I was having in the sea of orange.
I knew eventually we'd probably paint over just about everything, but wanted to live in it a little bit to decide what to do. Our palette at the old house was more greys, chocolate browns and ivories. And thus our furniture and decor is too. But with the warmth happening everywhere and to complement as much as possible, we started our journey to find the best WHITE paint.
And let me tell you, there are hundreds of white paint colors out there. But I found this really cool company called Samplize that you can order peel and stick paint swatches. They're big and movable so we could try them out in a variety of spaces. I ordered all of the most popular whites that people in the blog universe suggested from Sherwin Williams and Benjamin Moore and we put them to the test.
Full disclosure, we decided to hire some help for this job especially since we wanted to paint some molding and walls in the 2-story entry. I'm brave with a paintbrush, but not with a 2-story ladder. I fell in love with Simply White by Benjamin Moore in the initial batch, but our painter exclusively uses Sherwin Williams.
So we decided to go with White Flour by Sherwin Williams for both the trim and walls to start to lighten things up. It was a similar bright white as Simply White but had a bit creamier undertone which I thought would work well with the warmth of the floors and existing woodwork.
We'll share some transformation photos in another post to come. Stay tuned!
Need a Fix Up? Here's what we used:
Various shades of white from https://samplize.com/